Crisis expert: AT&T has 48 hours on iPhone pricing complaint
Computerworld - AT&T has 24 to 48 hours to answer the rising tide of complaints from iPhone owners who are furious over its pricing policy for the new iPhone 3G S, a crisis communications expect said today. "It's time for AT&T to step forward and be an industry leader," said Dallas Lawrence, vice president of digital media at New York-based Levick Strategic Communications. "The next 48 hours will be very telling. AT&T needs to embrace the message, to acknowledge a mistake's been made, and to make things good." Lawrence was referring to the growing online campaign on Twitter and elsewhere by iPhone owners angry over AT&T's plan to charge an additional $200 to upgrade to the iPhone 3G S if they haven't fulfilled most or all of their two-year contract with the carrier. More than 8,000 people have "signed" a Twitter petition calling on AT&T to sell the new iPhone to current users for the same $199 and $299 prices it charges new subscribers. The number of names on the Twitter petition has nearly doubled over the past 24 hours. "AT&T has the opportunity to turn a potential negative into a positive," said Lawrence, who has managed crisis communications for a large number of public and government clients. In 2003, he served as the spokesman for Ambassador L. Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion.